The order of weft colours is ‘programmed’ through a plastic tape with holes punched out in the correct position. There are typewriter-like machines for this process, but we found that a long-reach hole punch does the job just as well.
The ends of the pattern tape are glued together so the tape runs in an endless loop, repeating the colour pattern with every revolution. We sometimes get a bit carried away with the size of our pattern repeats, which makes our pattern tapes rather long. It’s not necessarily the complicated patterns that are long. The length just depends on the size of a repeat. Here is the tape for one of our favourite throws, which has a very long pattern repeat.